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NaPoWriMo prompt for today invites one to use some of the more, ahem, exotic, of the seashell names. This list was kindly provided:

Peruvian Hat, Snout Otter Clam. Strawberry Top. Incised Moon. Sparse Dove. False Cup-and-Saucer. Leather Donax. Shuttlecock Volva, Striped Engina. Tricolor Niso, Triangular Nutmeg,
Shoulderblade Sea Cat, Woody Canoebubble’ Ghastly Miter, Heavy Bonnet, Tuberculate Emarginula, Lazarus Jewel Box, Unequal Bittersweet, Atlantic Turkey Wing


While seashells are something I daily collect,
As all of my readers can tell,
When fossicking I do not often select
The fancy-named species too well;
I often come up with a cowrie,
But not with an item more flowery,
Tuberculate Emarginula reflect
Enough to scare even a Maori!

I frequently find many spirals and cones -
But Tricolor Niso do not -
And Wentletraps, Conchs and Cuttlefish Bones;
Sparse Dove, though, are sparse quite a lot;
A Mitre is something I know of,
And have, indeed, made some a show of;
Still, meeting a Ghastly one, uttering groans?
Bowel contents, there’d be quite a flow of!

I’ve taken more Scallops than has any Chief
Of Native American stock,
Yet Shoulderblade Sea Cats would give claws for grief
If creeping from under a rock!
With naughty lass I will go finding
A Nautilus; that I’m not minding,
But Woody Canoebubble beggars belief –
My sanity’s started unwinding!

© Colonialist April 2014 (WordPress)
Posted in Beach, Challenge, Humour, Poems, Really Awful Rhyme, Seashells, Wordplay | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: On Top – Rock and Shells

Mukhurob - the Finger of God in Namibia -a natural wonder which became rather unnatural and fell down.

Mukhurob – the Finger of God in Namibia -a natural wonder which became rather unnatural and fell down.

Shells on a stick as part of a sandcastle built during fun on our beach today.

Shells on a stick as part of a sandcastle built during fun on our beach today.

 On Top -Weekly Photo Challenge
© Colonialist April 2014 (WordPress)
Posted in Beach, Challenge, Ocean, Personal Journal, Photography, Seashells, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

The Really Awful Ruby Hat of Oh My … Goodness.

For the NaPoWriMo prompt today I have based my rhyme on this stanza of
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam:

Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring
 Your Winter-garment of Repentance fling:
 The Bird of Time has but a little way
To flutter — and the Bird is on the Wing.

After I had written it, I was called away, and when I returned to the computer there it was … gone!  No save, no search in deleted items or files would show it, and so I gave up and re-wrote it as follows:


Go, fill the Glass, and in the chill of Fall,
 Your Summer garments shed, and have a Ball,
 My goodness is so great that it is apt
 To dazzle – and can drive you up the wall. 

For you must drink and think of just how good
 I am, as properly I’m sure you should,
 (And I’m so glad that I don’t need to find
 That rhyme-word – third line – don’t think that I could.) 

Though you may think I’m wearing a red hat,
 This habit is not one that I am at,
 Perhaps I should, though, so that it can go
  With goodness  - as I say, I’m good at that.

Pablo Picasso - Seated Woman with a Red Hat

Pablo Picasso – Seated Woman with a Red Hat

My goodness gracious, I can clearly show
 There’s value found within a red chapeau,
 One scribbled by Picasso came to be
  Worth plenty –  why, I simply do not know.

As I finished it, I thunk to myself: what if I had deleted the first one by accident-like?  So I tried clicking  ‘undo’ until I went cross-eyed.  Sure enough, when my new version finally vanished, I found an ‘Undo cut’ which restored the first one.  Why didn’t I think of doing that before?

In cases like this one is always convinced that the lost one was the masterpiece, and the replacement a feeble shadow.  Now, that can be tested.  Which version do you think is best?


Come, fill the Glass, and in the chill of Fall,
 Leave Summertime, and let us have a Ball,
  This has, one sees, a Ring undoubtedly
  Familiar:  Oh, Hello there? Did you Call? 

Red bonnets are the thing of Riding Hood,
 Which Fairytales suggest, as well they should;
 (I’m glad this line does not have any need
 Of rhyming – do one there would not be good.) 

But then, some Goodness one will need to Bring
Into the Poem, of which we can Sing:
That I am Good is to be taken as
A Given – for I Give like anything!

Pablo Picasso - Seated Woman with a Red Hat

Pablo Picasso – Seated Woman with a Red Hat

 So, do I tend to wear a Bonnet, Red?
  I fear that truthfully such can’t be said,
  But Chapeau Rouge can reach the Highest Heights
  In Value – that is really Go-ahead!

© Colonialist April 2014 (WordPress)
Posted in Challenge, Poems, Really Awful Rhyme, Writing | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

Fairytale Rocks a bit Grimm


17042014529Steve Peralto and Xania Osorio
Steve Peralto and
Xania Osorio

     Last night’s opening of Fairytale Rocks at Sibaya Casino’s iZulu Theatre, in Umhlanga Rocks, had a lukewarm reception. This is sad, because the cast of nine and the three musicians really played, sang and danced their hearts out. The dances were well executed and coordinated, and young R – whose attention, if not interest, was retained through the 1 ¼ hours – was particularly impressed by ‘the man with rubber legs’.
Disney songs from the likes of Shrek, Beauty and the Beast, Jungle Book, Lion King etc. were belted out with enthusiasm, and if diction fell rather short that can be said of most popular singers today. It was a pity, though, that just before curtain-up a Julie Andrews song was played, which does tend to show anyone up in the diction direction.
The sticky-tape used to patch the story together is sadly lacking in glue. The singers sang, and the dancers pranced behind and round them with brief expeditions into the audience – that was it. The background of a fairytale palace was mostly obscured by a bank of lights directed, in varying intensities, at the audience. Otherwise, the set consisted of two stairways and four mirrors and – the height of excitement – the introduction of a table and chairs for one scene.
The leading lady, Xania Osorio, in her ‘princess’ costume for the final numbers, had to contend with struggling to prevent a coming-out party. The top wanted south and her upper-structure wanted north.
The show certainly has potential if some tightening up can be done, and particularly if more audience participation can be drummed up in this venue – which is not an easy one for the purpose.

                                                                                             © Colonialist April 2014 (WordPress)

Posted in Theatre | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

A really awfully tasteless rhyme giving rationale on rats as rations

For today’s NaPoWriMo prompt, we are invited to wax lyrical on something affecting at least three of the five senses.  This invites a rhapsodic eulogy on the joys to be experienced from sight, smell, sound, touch and taste.

With having had to dash to Pinetown for stocks, and then to the print shop re some cartridges too mean to dislodge their ink, and then to R’s regular swimming lesson, and knowing we are leaving early to go to a show tonight, it didn’t leave much time for scribbling.  Still, I’m sure the sheer beauty of the images in this offering will astound and delight.


A rat I saw slink up a rafter,
And wondered just what he was after;
Looked tatty, not fat,
And one could tell that
‘Twas some sort of sewer that rat had been at
By testing the perfume that wafted behind -
The odour was such as a person might find
Inside a latrine;
It smelt quite obscene;
And thus one knew, as I have said, where he’d been. 

His pelt felt all sticky and yucky
And just as it looked, which was mucky;
In fact, to the touch,
It was rather such
As turds and whey, mashed up a little too much;
His squeak was discordant, and injured the ear:
It wasn’t a sound that was pleasant to hear …
And as for the taste,
I was in no haste

To try it out; therefore that rat went to waste.

© Colonialist April 2014 (WordPress)
Posted in Challenge, Nonsense verse, Personal Journal, Really Awful Rhyme | Tagged , , , , , | 31 Comments

Ritual slaughter as a spectacle

Ritual slaughter in a public place.

Ritual slaughter in a public place.

In October, 2011, following reports of ritual slaughter of animals in a suburban street locally – apparently under permit granted by the local authority – I blogged under the title of ‘Slaughter in the Suburbs’.

According to stats, that topic has had more than double the views of any other I have ever written on in WordPress.  These have shown a sudden major spurt in the past few days using ‘African slaughter rituals should be allowed in the suburbs’ as the most common search subject – I wonder what sparked it?  A recent news item I missed, or even, perhaps, an assignment for some tertiary education course?

Anyway, I would feel gratified if there was any indication that the interest came from those who were in support of the feelings of disgust and disapproval I expressed, but the evidence seems against this.  Only four comments have come subsequent to the month of publication.  Whilst all of these were against the practice, I assume that the hundreds of other visitors were either disinterested in the moral and commonsense aspects, or looking for justification for such rituals.  Either way, I imagine that they had to slink away disappointed.

Surely, any rational modern person must accept that any gods, or writings, or sets of ancestors, or blindly-followed customs, which perpetuate barbarity of this sort are worthy only of ridicule and contempt.  The practices should not only be condemned in the strongest terms, but should be made completely illegal and subject to harsh penalties.  International legislation is, in fact, disgracefully backward in this regard.  Tolerance for immoral absurdities contained in religion is allowed to replace all decency.

Any religion worth having should inculcate total respect for living creatures and be against causing them suffering.  It should, particularly, be against anything which makes a spectacle of slaughter, particularly where children are allowed to be present.

The regulation of abattoirs is in serious need of reform worldwide, but at least the malpractices found there are not used for ‘entertainment’ which is, in effect, what public ritual slaughtering provides.  This is an abomination similar to dog-fighting or cock-fighting, and religion can provide no excuse whatsoever.

© Colonialist April 2014 (WordPress)
Posted in Current Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt calls for ten terminological inexactitudes in ten lines:

 Pants on fire

I am the fairest of the fair:
Though I have lost all of my hair,
My teeth are all mine,
I don’t have a line.
And look quite magnificent bare;
My bulging biceps will impress;
I’m beautiful when I cross-dress,
And look twenty-nine;
This rhyme is divine!
I never from a point digress …

Just for fun, I refined my terza rima of yesterday a bit by pruning a beat from each line.  I think this proves less can be more:

swim closeup 15042014526

This day, nearly-six-year-old
Entered for official trial;
Weather had turned rather cold. 

We’d been at it quite a while,
For eight hundred metres, swum, 
Has intimidating style.  

Of her peers appearing, some
Failed at a two-hundred ask,
But, unruffled, through she’d come.  

Pause to wave; in praise to bask;
Grinning; not the slightest frown;
Going on to do her task.  

Length on length and up and down;
Fifteen had become her score …
Minutes thirty-two, the crown,  

When completed was one more! 

© Colonialist April 2014 (WordPress)
Posted in Challenge, Grandchildren, Poems, Really Awful Rhyme | Tagged , , , , , | 26 Comments